Tips for a SAFE Halloween

30 Oct 2014 Comments
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On the spookiest night of the year, wrap yourself up in safety! Like Mummy always says, “Being safe prevents boo boo’s.”

On average, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year. Here are some simple tips to be sure your family doesn’t become a statistic:

Be Seen Make sure your kids are visable. Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors. Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers.

Avoid Masks Choose face paint and makeup whenever possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision.

Make Sure your Costume Fits When selecting a costume, make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls.

Flame-Retardant ONLY Only buy a costume that is labeled “flame-retardant.” This means the material won’t burn. If you are making your own costume, use nylon or polyester materials, which are flame-retardant.

Buy Safe Accessories Knives, swords and other accessories should be made from cardboard or flexible materials. Do not allow children to carry sharp objects.

Walk Safely Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible. Always WALK and don’t run from house to house.

Cross Safely Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Look left, right and left again when crossing and keep looking as you cross.

Drive Safely Watch for children darting out from between parked cars. Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully. And have extra precaution when backing up.

Eat a Healthy DinnerA good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating will discourage youngsters from filling up on Halloween treats. – See more at:

Examine ALL Candy Tell your children not to eat any treats until they return home. Insist that all treats be brought home for inspection before anything is eaten, then examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before your children eat them. When in doubt, throw it out.

Safety Center Board Member is honored as 2014 Youth Volunteer

20 Oct 2014 Comments
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Community Link celebrated its 75th anniversary by honoring people and organizations who have made a positive difference in the Sacramento region. The People Helping People awards ceremony was held on October 15th at the Aerospace Museum. Nick Wilson, Safety Center Board Member, was honored alongside seven other local individuals and organizations for their outstanding community service. Nick, a McClatchy High School Junior, was honored with the 2014 Youth Volunteer Award. The People Helping People Youth Volunteer Award honors an individual volunteer under the age of 21 who has performed a special deed or project.

As a member of Safety Center’s Board of Directors since his freshman year, Nick has been an active volunteer with the Safetyville Children’s Safety & Health program, presented to a local Rotary Club promoting the Safety Center mission and its programs, and is currently in the process of securing a grant to enhance the tour experience and create a new revenue source for Safetyville.

Nick, thank you for choosing to contribute your time and talents to Safety Center.

12 Tips to Prevent Workplace Fires, National Fire Safety Month

10 Oct 2014 Comments
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October is National Fire Safety Month and while the main focus is on preventing residential fires, it is also a good time to revisit workplace fire safety and prevention. Fatal injuries involving fires and explosions resulted in 148 occupational fatalities in 2013. That coupled with the threat of fire to business equipment and buildings demands that all business owners and safety professionals avoid having a fire emergency.

12 Tips to ensure a fire-safe workplace:

Step 1. Get Organized– Practice good workplace housekeeping. Clutter contributes to fires by providing fuel and by preventing access to exits and emergency equipment.

Step 2. Designated Smoking Areas – Smoke only in designated areas, and extinguish smoking materials safely. Never smoke in storerooms or chemical storage areas.

Step 3. Fire Extinguishers – Maintaining the appropriate type and number of fire extinguishers and learn how to properly use a fire extinguisher.

Step 4. Electrical Hazards – Report all electrical hazards. Many fires start in faulty wiring and malfunctioning electrical equipment.

Step 5. Access to Control Panels – Electrical control panels need to have free access maintained so that the electric could be shut off easily.

Step 6. Maintenance – Maintain machinery to prevent overheating and friction sparks.

Step 7. Sprinkler Systems & Smoke Detectors – Never block sprinklers, firefighting equipment or emergency exits. Observe clearances when stacking materials. Testing of sprinkler systems and smoke detectors at least annually.

Step 8. Chemical Safety – Use and store chemicals safely. Read the label and the Material Safety Data Sheet to determine flammability and other fire hazards. Provide adequate ventilation when using and storing these substances.

Step 9. Waste Control & Storage – Control the accumulations of flammable and combustible waste materials and residues so that they do not contribute to a fire emergency.

Step 10. Prevent Ignition – Use all precautions to prevent ignition in potentially explosive atmospheres such as those containing flammable liquid vapors or fine particles. Use non-sparking tools, and control static electricity as required.

Step 11. Exits – Emergency exit diagrams should be posted and emergency exits should be well lit with neon-regulation signs.

Step 12. Contact Info – Employees should have a list of emergency contact phone numbers in case of emergency. Remember that people will often panic in an intense situation; therefore basics such as the company address, phone number and floor plan should be posted.

Prevention is always better than cure and it’s best to avoid catastrophe in the first place or at least minimize the damage. The simple truth is that fire emergencies and disasters can strike anyone, anytime, anywhere. So if a fire does break out in your workplace A-C-T, Don’t Panic

A – ASSESS THE SITUATION

C – CHOOSE YOUR RESPONSE

T – TAKE ACTION

Continuous Safety Inspections

10 Oct 2014 Comments
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Author: Bob Lapidus, CSP, CSMS

The wall-to-wall formal safety inspection is one of the most common types conducted in organizations. Such inspections need to be done occasionally, but the problem with this kind of inspection is that it requires the people doing the inspection to be looking for every unsafe condition or unsafe practice all at the same time. This search is difficult to do and oftentimes hazards are missed because the eye cannot pick up on every single risk.

The specific inspection, looking for one kind of hazard, truly helps identify unsafe situations because it focuses the mind and the eye on a single type of problem. Whether we are looking specifically for hazards associated with fire, electricity, slips and falls, chemicals, tools and equipment, illumination, ergonomics, or even personal protective equipment, it helps us narrow the view. By zeroing in on particular problems, we limit our focus, and gather more precise information.

Perhaps the kind of inspection that does more for an organization’s safety program than any other type is the continuous safety inspection. As everyone does their work, our eyes come upon hazards that were not present a moment ago. Someone leaves something out and it is a trip hazard. A contractor leaves debris behind after the work is completed.

A familiar hazard in any environment is the one we see every day and we even deal with it, but we do not take action to correct it. The hazard remains day in and day out and we adjust to the situation rather than fixing it or requesting help in fixing it.

It is embarrassing as a safety person to have someone else point out a hazard that I have either seen daily and not done anything about or literally did not see, but it has been there for a long time.

Probably the most crucial thing about doing continuous safety inspections is that most accidents occur because of a hazard that suddenly occurs and no one takes action to eliminate it prior to someone getting hurt. By making everyone aware to maintain their alertness and attentiveness, such hazards will be spotted quickly and action can be taken to eliminate them before an injury occurs.

For More Information:
To become part of discussions on topics like the one above, go to www.safetycenter.org to obtain information about Safety Center’s Safety Management Specialist Certificate.

After completing this nine-day program, graduates may take the exam to achieve the Certified Safety Management Specialist (CSMS) designation. Once this certification is achieved, successful candidates keep it for the rest of their lives without any additional requirements or fees.

10 Tips for Motorcyclists and Other Roadway Users to Share Lanes Safely

07 Oct 2014 Comments
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Lane splitting by motorcycles is not illegal in California when done in a safe and prudent manner. Traffic safety organization developed a few tips for lane splitting.

Tips for motorcyclists:

Step 1. Do not travel more than 10 mph faster than other traffic

Step 2. It is unsafe to lane split when the traffic is moving at 30mph or faster

Step 3. It is safer to split between lanes #1 and #2

Step 4. Consider the whole environment before splitting including differential speed of traffic, lane width, roadway, weather and lighting conditions

Step 5. Be alert and anticipate movements of other roadway users

Tips for other roadway users:

Step 6. Scan mirrors and blindspots frequently, especially before changing lanes and making turns

Step 7. Signal before changing lanes or merging into traffic

Step 8. Increase following distance behind a motorcycle to 3-4 seconds so they have time to maneuver in heavy traffic

Step 9. Avoid distracted driving and keeps your eyes on the road

Step 1. Be respectful, impeding or blocking a motorcyclist in a way that can cause harm is illegal

All roadway users need to take reasonable precautions and to act responsibly so everyone has a safe journey to their respective destinations.

10 Driver Safety Tips for Fall Rainstorms

25 Sep 2014 Comments
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Nearly half (47%) of all weather-related car accidents — more than 700,000 a year — are due to rain.

As fall’s soggy weather fast approaches, it’s crucial that you know how to safely maneuver your vehicle and avoid weather-related accidents.
Here are 10 tips for driving in the rain:

Step 1. Exercise caution. Engine oil and grease build-up on roads and highways over time, and when combined with precipitation, you’ve got the equivalent of an automotive Slip ‘N Slide.

Step 2. Slow down. Wet pavement causes tires to lose traction and vehicles become more difficult to handle.

Step 3. Use headlights. Always use headlights in the rain – even if it’s just a sprinkle. Headlights help you see and be seen in wet weather.

Step 4. Keep your windshield wipers in tip-top shape. Summer can wreak havoc on your blades, so get them checked before fall’s showers arrive.

Step 5. Defog your windows. Precipitation can cause your windshield to quickly fog up, so use the front and rear defrosters to maximize visibility.

Step 6. Avoid pooling water. By splashing through puddles you can impair your vision and other drivers’. Additionally, standing water often shields potholes and debris from view and it can reduce the effectiveness of your vehicle’s brakes.

Step 7. If your car begins to hydroplane, do not brake or turn the wheel abruptly as this may cause your vehicle to go into a skid or spin. Take your foot off the gas and keep the wheel straight until your car reclaims traction.

Step 8. Increase your following distance. Slick roads, wet brakes and reduced visibility can lead to collisions. Give other vehicles plenty of room and brake early with reduced force.

Step 9. Don’t use cruise control. It can cause your car to accelerate when hydroplaning and reduces driver attentiveness.

Step 10. Drive in the tracks of the car in front of you. This allows the vehicle ahead to displace any standing water that’s on the road.

By employing these safe driving techniques you can keep yourself and your passengers safe during fall and winter drizzles and downpours. Rainy roads can be dangerous, but if we all slow down and use extra caution, rainy days might actually be a little brighter.

National Child Passenger Safety Week

15 Sep 2014 Comments
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Are you 100% confident that your child is the safest they can be while riding in the car? With car crashes being a leading cause of death for children 1 to 13 years old in the United States, it’s very important to make sure your child is in the correct safety seat to accommodate their growing body. But it’s not an easy task to find the right car seat. After all, there are several types of seats depending on your child’s age and size.

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Ensuring your children are buckled in safely when they are in the car is the goal of National Child Passenger Safety Week. From September 14th -20th parents and caregivers are encouraged to participate in a safety seat check up and find out from experts how best to protect their kids. Even after you find the right one, it’s important to know how to install your car seat correctly and when to transition your child to another type of seat as they grow older. A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study revealed that nearly 75 percent of parents don’t know how to use child safety restraints properly.

National Child Passenger Safety Week concludes with National Seat Check Saturday on September 20th when certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians will be available throughout California to offer advice and instruction. Technicians will help educate consumers about choosing the right car seat for their child, the importance of registering car seats with the manufacturer, and what to expect should that seat be subject to a safety recall. To find a safety seat check event in your area, visit seatcheck.org.

California law requires that all children under age 8 must be properly buckled into a car seat or booster in the back seat. Once a child reaches 8 years of age, parents should use this simple 5-step test to determine if their child can safely ride in a seat belt.

5-Step Test:

Step 1. Can the child sit all the way back against the auto seat?

Step 2. Do the child’s knees bend naturally over the seat cushion edge?

Step 3. Does the lap belt cross the top of the hips/thighs, not the tummy?

Step 4. Is the shoulder belt centered on the shoulder and chest?

Step 5. Can the child stay seated in this position for the whole trip?

10 Safety Tips for Senior Drivers

09 Sep 2014 Comments
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In the year 2030, it is estimated that one in five drivers will be over the age of 65. The life changing consequences of being in a car crash increases with age due to a higher susceptibility to injury and medical complications.

Senior drivers can take several steps to stay safe on the road, including:

Step 1. Exercising regularly to increase strength and flexibility. Walking, lifting weights and stretching are easy activities to fit into your daily routine.

Step 2. Eating at regular intervals and proper nutrition will help to keep you alert behind the wheel.

Step 3. Reviewing prescriptions and over-the counter medications with your doctor or pharmacist for side effects or restrictions that could impair your ability to operate a motor vehicle.

Step 4. Having your eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year to detect changes in your vision and so you know your limitations.

Step 5. Driving during daylight and in good weather. It is more difficult to see at night and in the glare of oncoming headlights.

Step 6. Planning your route before you drive so you know where you are going, we well as using roads with traffic that is moving at a rate of speed where you can travel safely.

Step 7. Using signals to consistently communicate with other drivers, choosing intersections with left turn arrows, and looking for easy parking will help in reaching your destination.

Step 8. Leaving a large following distance behind the car in front of you gives you a cushion of safety and helps to compensate for slower reaction times.

Step 9. Avoiding distractions in your car caused by cell phone use, eating and unsecured objects.

Step 10. Considering potential alternatives to driving by arranging for a ride with a friend or planning a convenient route on public transportation.

Safety Center offers an 8-hour Mature Driver program and a 4-hour refresher to provide tools to help seniors adapt to the effects of aging. Go to http://safetycenter.org/senior-safety/

7 Steps to Selling Your Safety Point

04 Sep 2014 Comments
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Developing an effective and sustainable safety and health culture within your organization has the single greatest impact on injury reduction. For this reason, developing a safety culture should be a top priority for all businesses. Nearly 50 American workers are injured every minute of the 40-hour work week, while about only 30% of businesses have a established safety and health program. In a strong safety culture, everyone feels responsible for safety and pursues it on a daily basis. In-turn it reduces the extent and severity of work related injuries and illnesses, enables you to better comply with regulations and other requirements, improve employee morale and productivity and reduce workers’ compensation costs. Over time the norms and beliefs of the organization shift focus from eliminating hazards to proactively building systems that improve safety and health conditions.

The first step to having a successful safety and health culture is being able to sell your safety point. Below are 7 Steps to Packaging A Winning Safety Point:

Step 1. Establish Credibility

Step 2. Identify the Problem

Step 3. Research Solutions

Step 4. Identify and Remove Barriers

Step 5. Strategize! Strategize! Strategize!

Step 6. Presentation: Sell Your Safety Point

Step 7. Follow-up: Patience and Persistence

Tips for Employees who work Independently

02 Sep 2014 Comments
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Author: Bob Lapidus, CSP, CSMS

Most of us go through life thinking others expect us to be independent, able to accomplish all things on our own. In a way, that is kind of scary and even irrational. The world is a complex place. Each organization is complicated and many of our tasks are intricate. Unless someone is a one-person artisan, creating his or her own specialty item, most of us work with others to get our tasks completed.

Working safely is one such activity that needs cooperative help. Many things we do are inherently unsafe when we do them alone. Think about how the following activities would be unsafe if done completely alone:

1. Climbing on extension ladders

2. Entering permit-required confined spaces

3. Working in excavations

4. Carrying or lifting heavy, awkward or cumbersome objects

5. Driving extra-long distances

6. Long hours of boring work

Having another person to help provides someone to assist, trade off tasks, react immediately in the event of an emergency, and even provide additional guidance.

There are organizations where employees are expected to work autonomously, without anyone else around, even though some tasks are hazardous. To handle this kind of situation:

    1. Determine if one person can do the work safely or if additional assistance is needed.

    2. Ascertain if there should be at least two people to ensure the work is done safely.

    3. Provide one or two reliable communication systems for employees who work alone in the event a problem occurs.

    4. Make sure employees have with them complete first-aid kits with the kind of supplies needed to treat the types of injuries they could sustain while doing the work.

    5. Comply with government safety standards that require more than one employee doing a specific task.

    6. Encourage employees to provide feedback to management on the safety of the work being performed.

Once actual tasks have been assigned the correct number of employees to do the work safely, take one additional important step: Tell your employees to think conscientiously about the work they are doing. Urge them to ask for help when they think there is any possibility that doing the task alone could lead to a problem. This action on the part of individual employees requires people to be cool. They need to know themselves, their own capabilities, when a situation is getting out of hand, and especially they need to know that asking for help is the smart thing to do.

Any belittling remarks on the part of other employees need to be eliminated immediately. Employees who put down other employees for getting help need to be counselled and directed to stop their ridicule.

Everyone in the organization must be aligned with the organization’s main safety goal of making correct safety performance matter on a moment to moment basis.

For More Information:
To become part of discussions on topics like the one above, go to www.safetycenter.org to obtain information about Safety Center’s Safety Management Specialist Certificate.

After completing this nine-day program, graduates may take the exam to achieve the Certified Safety Management Specialist (CSMS) designation. Once this certification is achieved, successful candidates keep it for the rest of their lives without any additional requirements or fees.